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Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 72
Lengths: 138, 146, 152, 160
The 2017 Elan Zest is an ultra-low-priced, novice-level women’s ski, sold with a superlight 7.5-DIN binding for a “street price” of about $400 in most shops. It’s part of the Smooth collection of novice- and intermediate-level skis in Elan’s Women’s All-Mountain series. All Smooth-collection skis are built on lightweight, soft-flexing, and economical foam cores, with forgiving, easy-to-skid cap-style sidewalls (rather than the edgier vertical kind). And all have deep sidecut radii that promote carved turns even at slow to moderate speeds. All are sold only as systems, with inexpensive, lightweight bindings suitable for unaggressive skiers.
Elan is based in Behunje na Gorenjskem, Slovenia, where it was founded during World War II to make skis for Yugoslav partisans. Partner brands include Alpina boots. Long state-run, it was privatized in 2015, when a Russian venture capital fund acquired a 95 percent stake. -J.C.